He’s been dominating in Australia’s domestic first-class tournament for the past three years, now the time has come for Chadd Sayers to be utilized on the big stage instead of running the drinks out to his teammates.
Frustration can only describe what the 30-year-old has endured in his eight-year career for South Australia, he’s done everything he possibly could have to get himself selected in the Australian side, especially in the past three Sheffield Shield seasons for the Redbacks. Many are of the opinion that the makeup of the Australian team is too New South Wales dominant, and the evidence suggests that they’re correct with the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins consistently holding their spot in the side. That’s not to say they don’t deserve it, it simply suggests that someone like Chadd Sayers would have to perform at an even higher standard which is ridiculous, because there’d still be no guarantee that he’d make the cut.
Sayers selection in the Australian side was certainly warranted after a record-breaking stint with the red ball in last seasons Sheffield Shield. The South Australian quick accumulated a whopping-60 wickets in the comp which just about put him in pole position for national selection if one of Starc, Hazlewood or Cummins were to get injured, but that wasn’t the case. Sayers missed out on the Ashes squad which really did cause some backlash directed at the selectors, who instead decided to stick with Jackson Bird who ended up replacing Mitchell Starc in the boxing day test. Bird went wicketless for 108 runs as England & Alastair Cook piled on 491 runs in their first innings at the MCG. Yes it was a lifeless pitch, but the fact that Australia went with Bird again ahead of the South African tour suggested that Sayers was on the outer yet again. The biggest conundrum is why are the Australian selectors so reluctant to picks Sayers? is it his height, lack of pace compared to Cummins & Starc? his first-class record speaks for itself which should have seen him playing in a baggy green along time ago.
His lack of height is anything-but a disadvantage, the ball rarely climbs over the stumps and he’s one of those bowlers who can generate swing both ways, that brings lbw’s and clean bowled dismissals into the equation. It’s almost a certainty that Sayers will play in the warm-up match against the SA Invitational XI at Sahara Park when they touch down in South Africa, that’s where Sayers has to assert himself in order for the decision to go his way if there’s any possibility of playing a match on the tour.
Australia have opted for their strongest playing XI to take on the Proteas given the difficulties teams have had in the past in this hostile environment, in saying that they have some absolute gentlemen of the game such as AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla. That could possibly see Sayers running the drinks yet again which would be an absolute tragedy if that were the case for the entire tour. It’s hard to see Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon getting separated given the amount of success they’ve all just recently had in the recent Ashes series as a bowling unit. Even if something were to happen to one of the three quicks, Jhye Richardson seems to be the next in line which could furthermore delay Sayers test debut. Lets hope for Chadd’s sake, Australia decide to rest one of the star quicks over the duration of the series and hand the South Aussie a well-deserved baggy green, that would be one of the feel-good stories of Australian cricket in 2018.